Classified '28 Pages' Detailing Alleged Saudi Link to 9/11 to Soon Be Released

Posted: Jul 15, 2016 8:00 AM
Classified '28 Pages' Detailing Alleged Saudi Link to 9/11 to Soon Be Released

Congress will soon release classified material that allegedly shows Saudi ties to the 9/11 hijackers.

The 28 pages are part of a 2002 report about the September 11 attacks, which have been classified since its release.

Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, as well as family members of victims, have long sought the release of those pages to further understand the role the Saudi Arabian government may have played in the deadliest terror attack on American soil. 

The issue surfaced again in the spring after former Sen. Bob Graham, who had chaired the committee that carried out the investigation, said he believed the hijackers received “substantial” support from the Saudi government.

After receiving the news on Thursday that the pages would be released, Graham said he was “very pleased.”

"It is going to increase the questioning of the Saudis' role supporting the hijackers," Graham told CNN. "I think of this almost as the 28 pages are sort of the cork in the wine bottle. And once it's out, hopefully the rest of the wine itself will start to pour out."

He continued: "Would the U.S. government have kept information that was just speculation away from American people for 14 years if somebody didn't think it was going to make a difference?"

According to Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, the report could come as early as Friday. 

While President Obama gave the green light to declassify the pages in April, not everyone agreed this was a wise move. CIA Director John Brennan, for example, advised against it.

“This chapter was kept out because of concerns about sensitive sources of methods, investigative actions, and the investigation of 9/11 was still underway in late 2002,” Brennan told CNN’s “Meet the Press” back in May. “I’m quite puzzled by Sen. Graham and others because what that joint inquiry did was to tee up issues that were followed up on by the 9/11 commission as well as the 9/11 review commission. So these were thoroughly investigated and reviewed. It was a preliminary review that put information in there that was not corroborated, not vetted, and not deemed to be accurate.”

He also cautioned that the pages could hurt the U.S.’s relationship with Saudi Arabia.

“The 9/11 commission took that joint inquiry and those 28 pages or so and followed through on the investigation,” he said. “And they came out with a very clear judgment that there was no evidence that indicated the Saudi government as an institution or Saudi officials individually had provided financial support to Al Qaeda."

"I think some people may seize upon that uncorroborated, unvetted information in there that was basically just a collation of this information that came out of FBI files, and to point to Saudi involvement, which I think would be very, very inaccurate," he continued.

For its part, the Saudi government seems to welcome the release of the 28 pages to counter any allegations, which it believes are unfounded.

"We've been saying since 2003 that the pages should be released," said Nail Al-Jubeir, director of communications for the Saudi embassy, reports CNN. "They will show everyone that there is no there there."